The Best Place to Stay in Pattaya
With a population that rises to around 300,000 in the holiday season Pattaya is a bustling city that is spread out over a large area. Luckily for tourists it has probably one of the most effective and easiest to use local transport networks to be found anywhere so wherever you choose to stay you can usually get to where you want to go without any fuss. This is thanks to the seemingly never ending streams of “baht buses” that follow set routes round the popular areas and the equally numerous taxi bikes that can be found in even the most remote parts of town. However, given that trips through the often heavy traffic can be quite slow, it still makes sense to book a hotel near to the places you intend spending most of your time.
The following describes the main tourist spots of the city and should give first time visitors an idea of which area might appeal to them most as well as help in choosing a conveniently located hotel. Hotel prices in relation to the rest of Thailand are very reasonable including the up-market ones so it is possible to get good bargains wherever you choose to stay.
Note: The suggested hotels have been chosen carefully for good location and value for money. All are well rated in customer reviews and have a good "word of mouth" reputation but please remember that, if the hotel is cheap, then you should not expect 5 star service.
Beach Road and Walking Street
Beach Road runs alongside Pattaya’s huge main beach from the quieter northern side of the city to the famous night life centre of Walking Street at the southern end. Along its entire length there are many off-roads ( called sois) that connect with the extremely busy 2nd Road which runs parallel. The northern half and its connecting sois are home to the majority of the city’s hotels which tend not to include "budget" accommodation due to their proximity to both beach and night life.
The southern half (from soi 7 onwards ) and adjacent areas contain the highest number bars in the city and increase in concentration the closer you get to Walking Street. Hotels in this area are mostly medium price range and are probably best suited to night life addicts who are tolerant of party noise. For anyone unsure about whether they could handle staying amidst the heart of the bar area its worth knowing that travelling from a hotel at the northern end is just a 10 baht ride on one of the ever-present “baht buses”.
North End Hotel Suggestions :
Hard Rock Hotel On the higher side of medium-priced but good value for money and so popular its often fully booked. Excellent location across the road from the beach and just a few minutes walk from local bars near Soi 8 or a 10 minute baht bus ride to Walking Street. Great swimming pool !
Sunshine Vista Hotel Low priced and value for money for spacious rooms some of which include kitchen and dining areas. A nice roof top pool and being just a few minutes from bars and beach make this hotel one of the best bargains around. (Note: prices seem to have gone up a lot for 2011 but still quite well rated by guests)
South End Hotel Suggestions :
Aya Boutique Hotel Medium-priced small hotel in a good location within a few minutes walk to either Walking Street's night life or the beach. Reviewed very highly by some guests for comfort and service making it extraordinary value for this standard and location.
Sunbeam Hotel Located in Soi 7 (another hotspot of bars) this low priced hotel is only a short walk to the beach or a 5 minute baht bus ride to Walking Street. Very popular with regulars who like to stroll around the huge number of bars just outside the hotel.
Running parallel to Beach Road is 2nd Road, a 3-lane one-way street that is one of the busiest in the city making it sometimes a nightmare to cross. This is something that is worth bearing in mind should you wish to frequent the beach area but choose to stay in accommodation on the other side of this road.
As well as the entertaining sois that connect it with the beach there are also many on the other side that are similarly lined with drinking and eating establishments. Together with the sizeable number of bars and restaurants to be found scattered along its length make it another popular area for people to stay in.
A rule of thumb for hotel prices is that the further away from the beach you go the better value you get yet 2nd road is still close enough to charge slightly higher prices than some and is home to some up market ones on the beach side such as Marriotts and the Dusit D2.
Tim Boutique Hotel Situated right on 2nd Road this small family run hotel must be one of the most popular in Pattaya as its often full. Nice rooms, friendly service and a swimming pool in a location handy to the beach, shopping and night life.
The Bayview Pattaya A large upmarket hotel at reasonable prices with great sea views on the beach side of 2nd Road. Very nice rooms, lovely swimming pool and is quiet but still close to both beach and night life.
Dusit D2 Baraquda Pattaya Hotel New and modern. Located towards the busier southern end of 2nd Road this up-market hotel has rooms with all mod-cons such as flat-screen TVs and good broadband. Easy access to shopping, night life and beach This hotel has received some very good reviews.
Following the roads off 2nd road in an easterly direction (away from the beach) takes you to another parallel road called Soi Bukhaow. Well known by frequent visitors but often missed by first timers this road is full of night time entertainment albeit slightly more relaxed than the likes of Walking Street. As well as being a little less hectic than other hotspots it also offers great value both in accommodation and entertainment with all day “happy hours” being quite common. Some people like it so much that they choose to spend their whole holiday around this area.
Hotel Suggestions :
Areca Lodge Hotel A long time favourite of many regular visitors to Pattaya. A big comfortable hotel with good swimming pools at reasonable prices located right in the heart of the bars and restaurants of the Soi Bukhaow area.
LK Metropole Located close to the Areca in the busy bar area of Soi LK just off Soi Bukhaow. Also popular with return visitors, this hotel offers more luxury but is still good value and receives very positive reviews from guests.
Naklua and North Pattaya
A lot quieter and popular with some is the northerly end of town and in particular Naklua which is not far from 2nd Road. As with Soi Bukhaow its missed by many but does have a lot of bars to cater to the still sizeable number of visitors that choose accommodation in the area.
Advantages are that you can stay in a nice quiet place at reasonable prices and still be just a short baht bus trip from the heart of the action in South Pattaya. Another advantage is that because the hotels in this area are often not as restricted for space they sometimes have good sized swimming pools and garden areas to relax in.
Hotel Suggestions :
Woodlands Hotel and Resort Good standard accommodation for the price, the Woodlands has beautiful gardens, a very nice pool and high standard rooms. Although too far to walk to the beach or Walking Street there is night life nearby in Naklua and Walking Street is only a 15 minute trip on a baht bus. For those who want to spend a lot of time around the pool this is a good option.
Dusit Thani Hotel Pattaya One of the best known luxury hotels in Pattaya. Located at the quiet northerly end of Pattaya's huge main beach, the Dusit has fabulous luxury, sea views, large swimming pools and access to their own secluded beach cove. Expensive by Pattaya standards but still good value for this class of hotel especially during off-season when they frequently offer major discounts.
Further south and over the hill from Pattaya is Jomtien Beach. Located next to a cleaner more attractive beach and being well serviced by its own shops, bars and eateries make this area popular with some including thais who come down from Bangkok for the weekends.
Price-wise its similar to the other beach area in Pattaya with the majority of the hotels being in the medium price range.
Hotel Suggestions :
Rabbit Resort Priced in the up-market range, the Rabbit Resort is ideal for those that want to relax in a peaceful green setting next to a beach. Being located at the town-end of the long Jomtien beach (actually called Dongtan Beach) the local night venues are nearby or, for those that wish more excitement, a baht bus journey to Walking Street is only 15 minutes.